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Companies & People: Five questions for John Thomas

Physicians Realty Trust CEO credit relationships for recent flurry of acquisitions

By John B. Mugford

John Thomas

Coming off a remarkable 2016 in which Milwaukee-based Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE: DOC) acquired about $1.3 billion worth of healthcare facilities, mostly medical office buildings (MOBs), officers with the real estate investment trust (REIT) indicated they were not likely to keep up with such a pace in 2017.

At the start of 2017, the REIT, which has been led since its founding in June 2013 by John T. Thomas, president and CEO, estimated it would make investments totaling between $800 million and $1 billion in 2017.

However, in an industry where relationships mean a lot, the company has come across a number of investment opportunities in 2017 that were direct results of such relationships. During the first half of 2017, DOC made investments totaling $836.5 million. As a result of that total, as well as a number of additional significant acquisitions that either closed or were pending early in the second half of the year, the REIT changed its earlier year-end investment guidance for 2017 to $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion.

As an example of a relationship-driven acquisition,

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